The Houston Rockets will reportedly decline the fourth-year option on Chandler Parsons’ contract, making him a restricted free agent this summer. While it may seem bizarre that the team would choose not to pay a player like Parsons $960,000 for the final year of his deal, there are a number of factors at play for the Rockets.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Rockets are determined to clear as much cap space as they can so they can pursue a third max-contract free agent to join Dwight Howard and James Harden. Targets could include Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The possibility of a sign-and-trade for Kevin Love also exists.
If the Rockets ultimately plan to keep Parsons, this could allow them to sign him to a more team-friendly long-term deal than they would have gotten if he became an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-2015 season. This way, Parsons may be more excited — for lack of a better term — about negotiating since he will be earning far more money in 2014-2015 than he would have if Houston picked up his option.
Parsons averaged 16.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this past season. He has improved dramatically in each of his first three NBA seasons, and he’ll likely command a contract with an average annual value of more than $10 million. Should the Rockets decide he is worth that much money to them, they can match any offer that comes his way. This gives them more leverage and a better chance to keep him long-term.Google+